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Governor Holcomb extends public health emergency for 19th time

Justin Hicks / IPB News

Indiana’s official public health emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue for at least another month.

Gov. Eric Holcomb renewed his emergency declaration for the 19th time Thursday. That declaration triggers his broad emergency powers and ensures Indiana remains eligible for federal relief.

He also continued some limited executive actions. His latest executive order mandates hospitals report to the state when they’re diverting patients to other facilities. It asks insurers to extend prior authorizations for non-emergency procedures being postponed because of the COVID-19 surge. And it makes it easier for advanced practice nurses to provide care across multiple locations around the state.

Those were all first imposed last month.

The only change from previous orders: Hoosiers who owe back taxes on the unemployment benefits they received during the pandemic will now have to pay penalties and fees – which had been halted before.

Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.